The 2016 Fubon Corporate Social Responsibility Report is the seventh CSR report issued by Fubon Financial Holdings to receive international certification. In the process of compiling the report, we have been able to reexamine our sustainability practices based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and initiate unique, far-reaching ESG action plans through our “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” that harness Fubon’s values and reflect international norms. Embodying the “positive energy” conveyed by the Fubon brand, those plans are focused on five core strategies – “leading investment,” “innovative finance,” “golden practices,” “honest lending,” and “tender care.”
Thanks to the hard work of everybody in the Fubon family, Fubon Financial Holdings reported net profit of NT$48.4 billion for 2016, the highest in Taiwan’s financial services sector for the eighth consecutive year. Beyond our strong financial results, we have transcended the standard CSR report model focusing on disclosure of past and present performance by adopting an “Integrated Report” framework. The framework takes stock of every business area and deconstructs Fubon Financial Holdings’ inputs and outputs into six forms of “capital” to accurately convey how the Company creates value.
At the end of 2015, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) was held in Paris and resulted in the Paris Agreement, which established a framework for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The agreement, which took effect in November 2016, represents a milestone in getting countries to join together in fighting global warming. In response to COP21, Fubon Financial Holdings signed on to the Science Based Targets initiative to support the pursuit of environmental sustainability.
Beyond getting countries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement will also create new “green” opportunities as it steers the world away from the existing linear economy toward a green, circular economy. This will surely lead to high expectations for innovative developments in the financial, materials, building and transportation sectors.
A green finance wave is already sweeping across the globe, and Taiwan’s financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), has made green finance one of its top policy priorities in the hope that domestic capital can offer strong backing for the green energy sector. Fubon intends to be part of that effort as we address climate change and its corresponding challenges. We are leveraging our core financial competencies to unearth new commercial opportunities and using our capital to support and encourage businesses to develop new technologies and “cradle-to-cradle” products, hoping ultimately to forge a zero-waste, zero-pollution profit model.
At the same time, the United Nations launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 to get companies to take ESG risks seriously and incorporate sustainability issues into their operations, including by factoring in environmental and social issues when making decisions and using sustainable development to promote the idea of a “sustainable economy.”
With those goals in mind, Fubon Financial Holdings launched a “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” in late 2015 focused on five strategies – leading investment, innovative finance, golden practices, honest lending and tender care. An ESG Task Force has been created under the Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee to pursue these strategies through six working groups, covering corporate governance, employee care, responsible finance, customer engagement, social commitment and environmental sustainability. The “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” is aimed at integrating short, medium and long-term ESG development strategies and plans related to core financial competencies to help achieve 12 SDGs and spur economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability. Good health and well-being, inclusive and quality education for all, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities are among the SDGs pursued.
Through this commitment to sustainable operations, Fubon’s ESG performance far surpasses the industry average. In September 2016, Fubon Financial Holdings was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Emerging Markets Index, and was the first and only Taiwanese financial holding company to be selected in the FBN Diversified Financial Services and Capital Markets industry group.
Looking ahead to 2017, we expect the global economy to continue its moderate recovery. Economic prospects are likely to be better than they were in 2016 as advanced economies resort to expansionary fiscal policies instead of monetary easing to stimulate growth, and rebounding commodity prices spur accelerated growth in emerging economies.
Fubon Financial Holdings is poised to capitalize on this global recovery by expanding its assets under management and optimizing its investment portfolio. We expect to make our operations more efficient by increasing our retail penetration rate around Taiwan, strengthening channel management, and using digital and mobile services to reach different customer segments. Efforts will also be made to better harness organizational synergies by further integrating Fubon resources. Meanwhile, Fubon has long cultivated overseas markets and will continue to respond positively to the FSC’s “Asian Cup” initiative to help Taiwanese banks expand abroad. When assessing overseas markets, we will look for opportunities for acquisitions or strategic alliances to help Fubon steadily advance toward its vision of becoming one of Asia’s first-class financial institutions.
The arrival of the Fintech era and the growing use of big data applications are changing business models in the financial sector. Amid this challenge, Fubon Financial Holdings established a “Fintech Office” to develop a diverse range of innovative services with the help of blockchain technology and big data. Among them: health risk assessment models and insurance policies that reward good health developed with the help of wearable devices; and loss prevention models that help corporate clients manage their vehicle fleets created by converting driver behavior data into risk factors. Fubon hopes to introduce more innovative Fintech applications in the future that will help people in their daily lives and forge a more flexible, convenient and secure financial environment in Taiwan.
Fubon firmly believes that a company’s greatest responsibility is to foster a better society. As action plans under the “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” unfold, we will continue to project the “positive energy” our brand embodies and use our influence in the financial sector to create a new paradigm and make the world a better place.